Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sexual abuse of elderly resident at Nursing Home investigated

Workers at the Hebert Nursing Home have told health authorities and police that they witnessed, and reported in vain many times, what they consider a disturbing pattern of long-term abuse, with sexual overtones, of a mentally impaired resident. Reports from government health agencies indicate that the resident - an 89-year-old woman - for months was subjected to digital penetration of her private parts, and other indignities, by her two daughters.
Sexual abuse of elderly resident at Hebert Nursing Home investigated | The Valley Breeze

Friday, February 17, 2012

Nursing Assistants Charged with Abusing Elders

Two former employees of Central Coast Nursing Center — recently stripped of its operating license after state officials discovered widespread health and safety violations at the Santa Barbara nursing home — have been arrested on sexual battery and elder abuse charges. Central Coast Nursing Center, located at 3880 Via Lucero, has a capacity of 154 residents and is one of the county’s largest long-term care locations.
Brian Watt, a 29-year-old Ventura resident and registered sex offender, was arrested on September 9, charged with felony lewd act upon a dependent adult, felony sexual battery on an institutionalized victim, and misdemeanor dependent adult abuse. According to the California Department of Justice, which spearheaded the investigation, the charges are related to an incident that took place on September 4, 2010. Mary Barron with the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office explained that if Watt is convicted on all counts, he could face up to six years in prison.
The Santa Barbara Independent Nursing Assistants Charged with Abusing Elders#commenttoggle

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nursing Homes Face Fines For Resident Injuries in CT

Two nursing homes, in West Haven and Waterbury, face fines from the state for incidents in which staff members reportedly were abusive towards residents, while four other homes have been cited for other care lapses that led to resident injuries.
Administrators of both Paradigm Healthcare Center of West Haven and Abbott Terrace Health Center in Waterbury told state Department of Health inspectors that they terminated the employees involved in the alleged incidents of elder abuse.
Paradigm faces a $650 fine in connection with an incident in which four nursing employees held down a resident during a procedure, in a way that “did not follow the facility’s protocol for providing care in a dignified manner,” a DPH report says. Paradigm also was cited for failing to provide pain medication promptly to a patient, and for not properly monitoring another resident who was dehydrated and who suffered broken ribs while in the nursing home.
Abbott Terrace faces a $755 fine after an incident in which a nurse’s aide treated a resident in a rough manner that may have caused the patient to hit his or her head on a bedrail, a state report says. The aide was terminated because of the incident. The home also was cited for three other incidents involving injuries to residents, including one who suffered a leg fracture.
Other nursing homes fined by the state DPH in January include:
• Rose Haven of Litchfield was fined $710 after a resident sustained a leg fracture while being moved from a bed to a wheelchair without proper supervision by a physical therapist.Nursing Homes Face Fines For Resident Injuries | CT Health I-Team

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Worst Nursing Homes remain on Government Rating List.

More than 560 of the nation's nursing homes have not budged for the past three years from a one-star federal government rating — the lowest on a five-star scale — even as most homes improved, according to a USA TODAY analysis of federal data.
In Georgia, more than one in 10 nursing homes have consistently received one star in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rating. Pennsylvania and Louisiana each had 8% of homes at the lowest rating. "Nobody wants to see consistent one-stars; they give everybody a bad name," says Larry Minnix, president and CEO of LeadingAge, an association of non-profit nursing homes. "You'd like to think the marketplace would deal with it and residents wouldn't get placed there, but sometimes they don't have a choice."

The lowest overall rating is awarded to nursing homes "much below average" compared with others in their state, according to CMS. Among problems that can drop a rating: consistently dirty equipment and linens, elder mistreatment and unlicensed caregivers or specialists.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hospital Acquired Infections -- Massachusetts Stats

New data from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows that Massachusetts has the 14th lowest/best rate among the 50 states in the incidence of one of the most serious and deadly types of hospital acquired infections (HAIs). Kaiser News has a good summary here. In 2009, there were 41,000 central-line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in U.S. hospitals, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These infections happen when narrow tubes are inserted in a major vein to inject medicine or fluids or to perform tests. Each one, according to CMS, adds about $17,000 in costs to a hospital stay, and about one fourth of patients who get the infection die from it. And, if hospitals follow recommended guidelines, the infection is almost entirely preventable. As part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA/ObamaCare -- section 3008), hospitals with excessively high rates of preventable HAIs (e.g.: these infections) will soon face significant financial penalties from CMS.

Hospital Acquired Infections -- How Does Massachusetts Stack Up? - Health Stew -

Verdict in Nursing Home Cover Up

A Jefferson Circuit Court jury on Monday awarded $8 million in damages to the estate of a retired surgeon whose legs were broken while he was in the care of Treyton Oak Towers in Louisville.
Attorneys William Garmer and Matt Minner said that Dr. David Griffin died less than two months after he was improperly transferred from a chair into his bed — and that Treyton Oak tried to cover up what happened.
“We got justice today and are thrilled for our clients and thrilled for the elderly citizens of Louisville,” Minner said in an interview.
Minner said after Grifffin’s legs were broken in the September 2008 incident, he was put back in bed “like it didn’t happen” and employees were ordered to change medical records and cover the incident up.
Because of a stroke, Griffin couldn’t tell anybody “about the agony he was in,” Minner said.
After being found with two broken bones on Sept. 24, 2008, he was treated at a hospital and later transferred to a different nursing home. He died Nov. 3.
Scott Whonsetler, who defended Treyton Oak Towers, said it would appeal.
“We are profoundly, profoundly disappointed that we were unable to convey to the jury how much we cared for this man,” he said in an interview. Whonsetler also said “we categorically deny that there was any coverup whatsoever” and said no abuse or neglect was ever substantiated.
Whonsetler said Griffin had severe osteoporosis and doctors failed to inform nursing home employees of this diagnosis. Whonsetler said it is unknown exactly how Griffin’s legs were broken.
The verdict was returned after the jury deliberated for about two hours and included $2 million for pain and suffering, $1 million for violating the state nursing home statute and $5 million in punitive damages.
The plaintiffs claimed Griffin was transferred without a lift and by only one nursing assistant, in violation of the nursing home’s care plan, which required two assistants.
That was disputed by the nursing home. No one answered a phone call to the nursing home.
Griffin was in his mid-80s and had retired many years before he was injured, Garmer said.
He had been a patient in Treyton Oak Tower’s skilled residential facility.

Forcing nursing home owners to be accountable

Today's editorial in Tampa highlights the attempt by many nursing home owners to escape accountability for violating safety regulations for the elderly.
"Every nursing home should be legally and financially responsible for what happens to its vulnerable residents. But nursing home owners are too often missing in action. They avoid legal liability by structuring ownership interests in ways so convoluted that it is often impossible to hold anyone accountable. And with that lack of accountability has come deteriorating care. The situation has long been known by government regulators and consumer advocates, but it wasn't until passage of President Barack Obama's health care reform that federal law seriously began to address the issue. The Affordable Care Act forces more transparency on nursing home owners in ways that should help protect Florida's elderly. Tampa Bay Times staff writer Stephen Nohlgren recently examined one egregious case of a nursing home using elaborately layered ownership to evade lawsuits for abuse and neglect......
Make nursing home owners more accountable - Tampa Bay Times

Monday, February 13, 2012

Nursing home neglect

A private nursing home chain enforced such strict rations on diapers that staff wrapped residents in towels and plastic garbage bags to keep their beds dry.
A resident at a Bradford home who was prone to falls was left alone on a toilet. The resident fell and sustained a head injury.
Residents in a Hamilton home had untreated bedsores and were famished from lack of food.
An elderly woman with a broken thighbone in a Pickering nursing home suffered for days without treatment.
A Brantford home was so short staffed that residents frequently missed their weekly baths.
Eight years after an Ontario government promise to revolutionize nursing home care, the elderly are still suffering neglect and abuse.
Responding to Thursday’s front page Toronto Star story on the rape of one senior in a home, allegedly by a male nurse, Health minister Deb Matthews has called an emergency meeting at her office with nursing home leaders Friday to find out what is going wrong in the publicly funded system.
“I need to have a very, very serious conversation with them,” Matthews said.
“(Homes) have a duty to report (assaults and abuse.) I need to know they are following the law. We have zero tolerance for homes that break the rules.”
The Star’s investigation draws from material uncovered by a new inspection system created by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in July 2010. It has since investigated 2,993 complaints and critical incidents, like broken bones or assaults.
We analyzed more than 1,500 of those inspection reports and found at least 350 cases of neglect where residents were left in soaking diapers, suffered untreated injuries, bedsores, dehydration, weight loss or were put at risk from outdated care plans that ignored changing medical needs. Other reports, scrutinized for Thursday’s story, focused on abuse.
Today the Star probes the issue of neglectful treatment of home residents.
The reports reveal that many families have no idea what their loved ones are subjected to. Inspectors found that some homes do not disclose problems to the ministry or police.
For example, Hallowell House in Picton, owned by the private chain Revera Long Term Care, did not immediately notify families of four residents to say their loved ones had suffered “neglect related to their continence care,” according to a ministry report from a September 2010 inspection.
The neglect stemmed from a staff member who skipped a room during rounds, Janet Ko, Revera’s vice president of communications, said in an email.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Doctors admit they lie to patients and hide mistakes

Great article in the Boston Globe showing the survey results from Doctors: Many admit to lying to patients and "covering up" mistakes.
"Most physicians paint overly optimistic prognoses for their patients, and many doctors have told lies or withheld information concerning their medical mistakes and financial relationships with drug companies and device manufacturers, according to a national survey conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital researchers.
The 2009 survey of nearly 1,900 doctors, published today in the journal Health Affairs, shows that many doctors don’t adhere to the standards of medical societies and accreditation groups, which have long required doctors to be honest and open with their patients.
Doctors admit they lie to patients and hide mistakes, survey reveals